Canada’s First Half at the Olympics (February 9-17)

The 2018 Olympic Games are here, and Canada is ready in its quest for gold. As of the publication of this article, just about a week into the games, Canada has a total of 19 medals: 8 gold, 5 silver, and 6 bronze.

Mark McMorris won Canada’s first medal in Snowboard Slopestyle at Sochi, and he did so once again in Pyeongchang this time with his teammate Max Parrot. McMorris defended his bronze medal from Sochi while Max Parrot took home the silver. On the women’s side, Blouin went down during a training run and was almost unable to compete. She got medical clearance and worked her way to a silver medal.

Ted-Jan Bloeman, a former Dutch Long Track Speed Skater, never got a solid opportunity until he decided to come to Canada. Now representing Canada, he won a silver in the men’s 5000m and gold in the 10 000m.

In Moguls, on the women’s side, 2014 gold medalist Justine DufourLapointe could not defend her title from Sochi as she placed second in the competition. On the men’s side it was Mikael Kingsbury’s medal to lose. Kingsbury came second in Sochi and had won 13 straight world championships before finally dropping the final one prior to this event. Kingsbury made no mistake capturing his first Olympic gold medal.

Figure Skating began with the team event which first appeared in Sochi where Canada came in second. Men’s skater, Patrick Chan, Pairs duo Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and Ice Dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were preparing for their final Olympics. Along with Women’s Skaters Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman, Canada captured its first gold medal the game. Patrick Chan came in ninth in his final competition, while Duhamel and Radford won bronze.

An event making its Olympic debut was Mixed Doubles Curling. The duo of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris lost their opener to Norway before going undefeated the rest of the way, capturing the inaugural gold medal.

In Short Track Speed Skating, Charles Hamelin was looking for the threepeat in the men’s 1500m in what is his final Olympic. During the final race, he was given a penalty, and first time Olympian Samuel Girard came in fourth place, meaning no medal for Canada. In the 1000m, Hamelin suffered another disappointment by not making it to the final, but Samuel Girard was able to capture the gold medal for Canada. On the women’s side, Marianne St-Gelais got into trouble in both the 500m and the 1500m over a penalty, ending her hopes for medals in those events. Kim Boutin, a first time Olympian, claimed bronze in the 500m after South Korea’s Choi Minjeong was penalized and moved Boutin from fourth to third, later resulting in death threats for Boutin because of the incident between the two. She put that behind her and won another bronze in the 1500m.

History was made in Luge as Alex Gough finished third in the women’s competition. That was Canada’s first ever medal in the event. Gogh and Canada were not quite done there, as they claimed a silver medal in the team relay.

Canada will be looking to better their medal count from the previous two Olympics with just over a week remaining. Sochi had them at 10 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze for a total of 25 medals, while Vancouver had them set a personal best with 26 in total, which includes the record for the most gold medals won by a single nation at a Winter Olympics with 14, accompanied by 7 silver and 5 bronze.


 

Dean Matheos
Contributor

Originally Published in Vol. 47 Issue 9 on February 21st, 2018